Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 29, 2020

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of May 29, 2020

The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili, and the meeting started with the message of the Prime Minister welcoming the new members of the Government and thanking the outgoing members of Government and those who replaced non-sworn-in members of the Government for their effort and dedication during the exercise of their duties in the VIII Constitutional Government.

The Council of Ministers approved the draft Government Decree, presented by the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, on the measures to implement the renewal of the declaration of the state of emergency enacted by the Decree of the President of the Republic No. 35/2020 of May 27, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of emergency covers the entire national territory and is in force between 00.00 hours on May 28, 2020 (Thursday) and 23.59 hours on June 26, 2020 (Friday).

The set of measures adopted by the Government to prevent and control a possible outbreak of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste contributed to the fact that, currently, there are no people infected with the SARS-Cov-2 virus in the national territory. Nevertheless, it is now important to control any risks of re-importing the new coronavirus.

As such, as considering the Government Decree No. 8/2020 of 30 April, measures relating to international circulation are maintained, and the Prime Minister can now also exceptionally authorize, in addition to the cases previously set out, the entry of foreigners into national territory, in duly substantiated cases, related to the work of companies.

All measures previously applied with regard to the sanitary control at the entrance and exit points of the national territory, circulation in national territory and establishment of residence are maintained.

The Minister of the Interior may, through a Ministerial Order, determine the temporary closure of border posts.

With regard to measures applying to public administration, the Government Decree states that public services should operate normally, while ensuring a minimum distance of one and a half meters between individuals, the use of a protective mask and hand washing before entering public spaces.

Pre-school, primary education, secondary education, higher education and vocational or technical-vocational training institutions can now carry out school activities on a face-to-face basis, provided that they meet the technical criteria to be approved by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture.

With this Decree-Law, the rules of access and permanence in market premises are maintained and the limitations related to private economic activities are removed. There are also no limitations on religious, sporting activities and the right to strike and demonstration.

For the duration of the state of emergency, licences, authorisations and other administrative acts and documents remain valid regardless of the expiry date.

The Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Alexandrino de Araújo, gave a presentation to the Council of Ministers on the recovery plan, support already provided and the need for intervention to cope with the damage caused and to support the population affected by the floods that affected the east and south coast of the country last week. ENDS